Regional Editors' Standard of Excellence award 2018 Service Category Winner - Empress
British Mensa Newsletter Awards 2018

Regional News

Congratulations to Maria and Mark and everyone involved in the production of this newsletter. I’m thrilled to say that Empress won the award in the service category at the Regional Newsletter Awards ceremony that took place during the annual Regional Officers/Editors conference. On presenting the award it was stated that it was given for “comprehensive information about what’s on in the region coupled with good input from the Regional Officer to provide a practical link between officers and members”. Please remember that all officers and editors are volunteers and give up their own time to fulfil these roles. I’m delighted that we won something in recognition of our efforts.

At the conference I learned that the East Midlands is the 3rd largest region of British Mensa with almost 10% of the membership. Only London and the South East have more members. Interestingly around 40% of those people who sit the Mensa test achieve a high enough score to be invited to join our society and of those around 85% do actually join. The more events we organise, the more members will be encouraged to join in rather than just read Mensa Magazine. You are more than welcome to host a one-off event and myself or your Local Officer will gladly help. If you’re doing something or going somewhere anyway, why not invite others to join you and make some new friends in the process?

Members from Derbys/Leics/Notts and beyond will be joining the Christmas party night at the Jurys Inn East Midlands Airport on Saturday 8th December. A mulled wine reception followed by three course festive meal and disco costs £24.95. As several of us are staying overnight there may be some ad hoc events during the weekend so please keep an eye on our Facebook and email groups. Having woken to heavy snow after our Christmas party last year, I’m reluctant to make any definite plans too far in advance!

As always, you can contact me on [Phone Number] or [Email]. I wish you and your family a happy and healthy festive season and look forward to seeing you in 2019.

Maxine Bates

Regional Officer


Welcome to the December Edition of Empress. My last one for now as Mark returns for the following months.

A BIG congratulations to everybody for making Empress win the Service Award 2018. We also won it in 2016 . This award is to recognise the great work of everybody who organises events and us, Mark, Maxine and I for putting them together every month. If you attend any event this month, don’t forget to mention it to your host. It would be really appreciated it. We have a few Christmas parties taking place and a walk, if you wish a bit of fresh air and some exercise between party and party.

See you in three months. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Maria Falces

Events and Meetings

In the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus, the expectation is that all events listed here are likely to be cancelled, if not already marked as such. If you intend participating in any event listed here, please contact the event organiser beforehand to confirm that the event is still on.

In Leicestershire

On Mon 17th Dec at 7:00pm - Christmas Curry

Join us for our traditional pre-Christmas curry at the Chutney Ivy Indian restaurant, 41 Halford Street, Leicester (opposite the Curve Theatre). For more information about location, car parking and menus please consult the restaurant’s web site at I shall be waiting for you in the restaurant from 6:45pm. Please let me know if you would like to come by 26th November on [Phone Number] or by email at [Email].

Lively Lincs

On Sat 1st Dec at 12:00pm - Pub discussion

Please note change to first Saturday (due to upcoming Christmas Market ) at the Adam & Eve Tavern, 25 Lindum Road, LN2 1NT (opposite Pottergate Arch). We'll have a discussion around “Which murderer do you most admire?”. Car park, pub food, all welcome. Look for Magazine on the table. Contact Jacquie on [Phone Number] or [Email] for encouragement or more details.

On Thu 27th Dec at 2:00pm - Walk

Join us for “blowing the cobwebs off”, walking west from Skellingthorpe Heritage Centre car park, LN6 5UT. Please meet at the end farthest from Lincoln Road. All welcome, but please contact Jacquie for more details and so she knows to look out for you: [Phone Number] or [Email].

On Thu 27th Dec at 3.45pm - Meal

A short drive from the walk venue is the Swan Holme Tavern on Doddington Road, LN6 3RX, where we will go for a meal afterwards. You are very welcome to join us directly there but please let Jacquie know – details as above – by 20th December so that she can book a table.

Jacquie Harrison

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] / [Mobile Number] for details

photo of Maxine Bates

Notts News

On Wed 5th Dec at 8:00pm - 5OTM

We'll be at the Vat & Fiddle pub on Queensbridge Road (NG2 1NB) for a drink and chat. Come for a cup of coffee or a few pints of real ale brewed at Castle Rock next door. Look for yellow Mblem on the table. Free parking outside and near train, tram and bus. Contact Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] for further information or just turn up on the night.

On Thu 13th Dec at 7:30pm - Christmas Meal

Booking essential for this month's festive get together at the Cadland pub/restaurant in Chilwell. £15.49 for 2 courses or £17.99 for 3 courses. Please contact Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] for menu and to check availability.

On Tue 18th Dec at 7:00pm - 3TuOTM

Join our growing group for food and/or drink at the Prince Rupert, Stodman Street, Newark, NG24 1AW. Look for yellow Mblem on table usually in room to right as you enter the pub. Directions/encouragement from Pete on [Phone Number] or [Email]. New faces always welcome!

Sorry, no eating meeting this month as it falls on Christmas Day. Normal service resumes in 2019!

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

News from Northampton

On Sat 8th Dec at 10:30am - Pub Walk

Flecknoe Braunston Wolfmancote: 9km (2 hrs 45 mins) Walk across fields to Jurassic Way, farm track to Braunston. Grand Union Canal, then path to ancient church of Wolfmancote. Meet at ‘The Olive Bush’, Main Road, Flecknoe, Rugby. NN11 7HJ OS 222 (526 636) Drink afterwards at 1.00. For help or encouragement [Phone Number][Email]

On Sun 9th Dec at 10:30am - Brunch

Just one meeting this month - our usual breakfast/brunch at the Rendezvous Coffee Shop, Market Walk, Northampton Town Centre. Pete will have a special Christmas Quiz and we'll discuss the most important/interesting/horrendous event that's happened to us during 2018. Contact Marianne [Phone Number] or email: [Email] for encouragement.

photo of Richard Allen

Hertfordshire Happenings

On Thu 6th Dec at 8:00 pm - FThOTM

As ever, we are at the Three Magnets, Leys Avenue, Letchworth! Thursday nights are curry nights but other food (standard Wetherspoons' fare) is available as well. Leys Avenue is the main shopping street in Letchworth and is a few minutes' walk from the station (Kings Cross to Cambridge line). Call me on [Phone Number] for more details and encouragement.

Richard Allen

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Jo Sidebottom

Mensans in MK & Bedford

On Sat 1st Dec at 3:00pm - T@3

Join us at Dobbie's Garden Centre in Fenny Stratford for tea, coffee and cakes in the restaurant. We will probably be in the conservatory area at the back. Contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement.

On Sun 16th Dec at 10:00am - Breakfast

Join us at Brown's on Midsummer Blvd (next to Jury's Inn) from 10am for a full breakfast, a snack, or just a drink. Look out for the Mblem on a table. Contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement.

We won't be doing the Barge quiz this month as we're not sure they run it in December. Normal service will be resumed in January.

Just a reminder about our M-MK & Bedford Facebook group – if you would like to join please search for the group and send me a request. I also keep an email distribution list for meeting reminders and any last-minute changes, so if you would like to be added to this please let me know.

We hope to see as many of you as possible at one or other of our events this month. Do remember that you’re welcome to bring a guest with you, so if you’ve never been to a Mensa event and are a little nervous about coming along on your own, just bring a friend.

Jo Sidebottom

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] / [Mobile Number] for details

photo of Val Hinkins

Mid Bucks

On Sun 2nd Dec at 12:00pm - Bangladeshi meal

Join me for Sunday lunch at Elaichi Restaurant at 188 Cressex Road, HP12 4UA. Sunday Special menu at £9.95. Details at I will need to book, so please contact me on [Phone Number] or [Email] by Friday 23rd November to reserve a place.

On Fri 7th Dec at 10:30am - Coffee & Chat

Join me at Jung’s on the Broadway in Beaconsfield, HP9 2PD for relaxed conversation, cake and coffee. See for location and menu. No need to book, but if you want me to look out for you, let me know you are coming on [Phone Number] or e-mail me at [Email]

On Mon 10th Dec at 8:00pm - Indoor Games

Join Dave and Alison at their home in Flackwell Heath, near High Wycombe, for a relaxed evening of indoor board games. All members and friends welcome. Space is limited, so please contact Dave for directions and to discuss what games you would like to play on [Phone Number] or by e-mail at [Email]

For further details or encouragement contact me on [Phone Number] or e-mail me at [Email]

Val Hinkins

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Susan Graves

Derby Diary

On Sat 8th Dec at 7:00pm - Christmas Party Night

Dinner and disco at Jury's Inn East Midlands Airport for £24.95 per person. Overnight accommodation available if required. Contact Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] to check availability and see menu.

On Mon 17th Dec at 2:00pm - Tea and Browse

We will be at Bretby Garden Centre near Burton on Trent (DE15 0QS) for late lunch / early tea and cake plus some indoor shopping/browsing. Meet at 2pm in the restaurant, look for the yellow Mblem. Please contact me on [Phone Number] or [Email] if you are thinking of coming so I can look out for you.

On Wed 19th Dec at 7:30pm - 3WOTM

We'll be on a group of tables in the rear section of the Standing Order (Wetherspoon) pub on Iron Gate. Look for the yellow Mblem. Drop in briefly or stay all evening for food and/or drink and chat. Christmas menu available but not compulsory. New faces especially welcome. Contact Susan’s stand in, Mark, on 07989 501441 or Susan on [Email] for directions and encouragement.

Susan Graves

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] / [Mobile Number] for details

Christmas Quotes

Our many different cultures notwithstanding, there's something about the holidays that makes the planet communal. Even nations that do not celebrate Christmas can't help but be caught up in the collective spirit of their neighbors, as twinkling lights dot the landscape and carols fill the air. It's an inspiring time of the year. - Marlo Thomas

Some people are born for Halloween, and some are just counting the days until Christmas. - Stephen Graham Jones

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. - Norman Vincent Peale

British Mensa Newsletter Awards 2018

Maris and Maxine with the trophy
Mark with the trophy

“Comprehensive information about what’s on in the region coupled with good input from the regional officer to provide a practical link between officers and members.”

Would you like to take a more active part in Mensa?

We have a number of vacant roles. If you are interested and would like further information or a no obligation chat, contact Maxine.

Family Officer: To be a contact for junior members and/or members with children aged under 18

Leicester Local Officer: To be a contact and organise events for members living in the LE postcodes

Luton Local Officer: To be a contact and organise events for members living in the LU postcodes

Northampton Local Officer: To be a contact and organise events for members living in the NN postcodes

Empress Editor: To join the editing team on a roster putting together this newsletter

Regional Publicity Officer: To search out news items referencing Mensa and inform the office and members

20 Questions (No. 206)

The answers from the animal quiz in the October issue were bird, Edith Piaf, triceratops, snake, Napoleon, 4 years, The Osmonds, Scout, capybara, boot, Deputy Dawg, crocodile, Laika, leatherback, mob, chimera, Tibet, 4, Sandy and shrike. Lots of entries this time with everyone scoring 20 out of 20 placed in a hat and Nigel Bryant of Bedford being drawn at random – again!

This month we have a Christmas quiz. Please send your answers to arrive by 15th December (note earlier closing date) to [Address] or [Email] remembering to include your name and address in case you win the £10 book token.

1. Which country started the tradition of putting up Christmas trees?

2. Which reindeer’s name begins with the letter B?

3. Christmas Eve is the name of a character in which stage musical?

4. Who wrote the poem ‘The Cultivation Of Christmas Trees’?

5. Which US state was the first to recognise Christmas as an official holiday?

6. Which Australian city was hit by Cyclone Tracy on 25th December 1974?

7. How many gifts would you receive in total if you got everything in the ‘12 Days Of Christmas’ song?

8. Which company was first to use Santa Claus in an advert?

9. What is the capital of Christmas Island?

10. Which festive food is made from marsh-whorts?

11. On which date is Christmas celebrated in Armenia?

12. Which German city was once known as the ‘gingerbread capital of the world’?

13. In ‘A Christmas Carol’ what was Scrooge’s first name?

14. Which Englishman banned the singing of Christmas carols?

15. What colour are the berries of the mistletoe plant?

16. Who composed the music to the song ‘Silent Night’?

17. Frosty the snowman’s nose is made of what?

18. What was the best-selling Christmas toy in 1980?

19. Which airport was taken over by terrorists on Christmas Eve in the Die Hard film?

20. What is the most popular restaurant that Japanese visit for their Christmas Day meal?